By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Looking for an alternative to vertical blinds to cover a large wide sliding glass door? We decided to use panel track shades (also called blinds) because they are a versatile window covering that mixes nicely with most any décor. The individual 27-inch wide panels glide on a wheeled carrier in a track concealed by a valance and open and close easily with a cord. Sewn-in weights at the bottom of each panel create a streamlined drape, giving the shades structure. You'll find them in an assortment of fabrics and woven wood with complimentary yarns, with colors ranging from white to mahogany. We chose a solar material that blocks direct light through the weave of the material but maintains a view to the outside.
A retailer specializing in window treatments will charge $1,370 to install six panel track shades with a valance in a 151-inch opening. You can buy the window covering for $1,155 and do it yourself, saving 15 percent. Compared to the cost of the shades, the savings is not impressive. This may be a project best left to the installer. If you do it yourself, you'll need a ladder, tape measure, level, wrench, screwdriver, nutdriver, electric drill with bits and wall anchors.
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Here's more information about the window covering from Next Day Blinds Panel Tracks.
The average price to install panel track shades noted above is cost data to compare a contractor’s estimate with doing it yourself. Tweak the data by adding your ZIP Code to find a local cost.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2020